Do you notice a rotten egg odor when you run hot water to do dishes or take a shower? If so, there might be a problem with your hot water heater. The most likely culprit is the anode rod. The rod is crucial for protecting your water heater and prolonging its life, but it can develop problems as it ages. Here is some information on what the anode rod does and how to know when it's causing problems that need to be serviced.
The Purpose Of The Anode Rod
The anode rod is a sacrificial tool. That means it slowly gives up its life to protect your water heater. The rod is made of magnesium, aluminum, or aluminum and zinc. These metals rust quite easily, so when the rod is submerged in the water heater, it gives itself up to rust, which allows the sides of the steel water tank remain rust free. The rod eventually wears down and needs to be replaced. This is where problems with your water heater can occur if you don't replace the rod on time. If the rod isn't replaced, the steel tank will start to rust. This leads to debris in the water and leaking that is expensive to repair or that will destroy the heater.
Signs The Anode Rod Is Bad
If the anode rod is allowed to go bad and rust builds up in the hot water heater, the water may take on a rusty color and metallic odor. You may even notice rust flakes in the water. If the rod deteriorates to the point where it breaks off, it will float around the tank and be pushed against the sides by the water flow. You might hear unusual noises coming from the tank. You want to call for a repair service when you hear these noises because the rod can damage the inside of the tank as it bangs against it. Also, if rust and sediment continue to build up in the tank, it can interfere with the heater's ability to heat the water properly. If the rust becomes severe, leaks may develop.
Another problem that develops with the anode rode is the rotten egg smell coming from the hot water faucet. This can happen even if the rod isn't bad, and the service professional may be able to solve the problem by putting in a different type of rod. The water reacts with the rod in a way that depends on the mineral composition of your water and whether it is hard water or soft water. If your tank has an aluminum rod, it has a higher risk of reacting and creating the bad odor. Your repair professional can fix the problem by flushing out the affected water and replacing the rod with one that contains zinc that wards off the odor.
When you have the anode rod replaced in your water heater, ask the service professional, such as from Clearwater Plumbing, how long it is expected to last. Mark down the date and then have it changed before it gets so old that it causes problems. Having a new rod put in is much cheaper and easier to do than repairing a water heater that has been damaged by rust.Share
13 March 2017
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